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18 December 2017

Essential budget planning to be welcomed

Commenting on the ‘Briefing on Northern Ireland Budgetary Outlook 2018-20’ released by the Department of Finance earlier today, Roger Pollen, FSB NI Head of External Affairs said:

“While it is disappointing that there is currently no Finance Minister in place to set a budgetary agenda for Northern Ireland, it is welcome to see the Civil Service making budget plans in advance of the next financial year.

“The fact that the 2017/2018 Budget only passed through Westminster a number of weeks ago, with two thirds of the financial year already completed, was regrettable and a situation which should be avoided in future.

“We look forward to engaging with the Department of Finance on this matter early in the New Year to outline the priorities of the small business sector in Northern Ireland, which is already feeling the squeeze with additional costs and an uncertain political climate.

“The significant financial decisions ahead, to which the briefing paper alludes, reinforce the point that we need Ministers in place as soon as possible to take strategic decisions.”